Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a series of changes to restrictions on cafes, restaurants and pubs. These businesses will be allowed to reopen their doors on Monday, June 1.

Labor’s Daniel Andrews will follow the lead of other state leaders by rebooting the Victorian hospitality industry. The announcement comes at the end of a week in which various Liberal Party politicians criticised the Victorian premier for showing authoritarian tendencies. Dan “The Man” was unruffled, pointing out this is a pandemic and “not a popularity contest.”

But following the execution of what Andrews calls “the biggest testing blitz in the nation and one of the highest testing rates in the world,” changes will come into effect on Monday, June 1. The new rules permit cafes, restaurants and pubs to welcome 20 customers at a time per enclosed space. It’s not set in stone, however. “If, in the coming weeks, we see a sudden upswing in community exposures from an unknown source – we may have to make the call to delay,” the Premier’s statement said.

Businesses will be expected to follow precautions in order to minimise the risk of transmission. This will mean abiding by the existing physical distancing requirements, which stipulate there can be just one person per four square metres. Tables in cafes, restaurants and pubs will also need to be at least 1.5 metres apart.

Venues will take the contact details of every person that enters in an effort to expedite contact tracing. This is in addition to carrying out extra cleaning, staff health screening and temperature checks. If things go well, businesses will be allowed to welcome up to 50 patrons by June 22, with the number increasing to 100 in the second half of July.

“These changes will apply to standalone restaurants and cafes, as well as restaurants and bistros within a pub, hotel, bar, registered and licensed club, RSL or community club,” said Andrews. Public bars and gaming areas remain off limits. The Premier also reiterated the advice that “if you can work from home – you must work from home.”

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